Manila, Malabon warehouses raid yield P135-M worth of imported onions, garlic
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) and Bureau of Customs (BOC) confiscated around 300 tons of imported onion and garlic in separate raids of warehouses in cities of Manila and Malabon.
The joint operation of CIDG and BOC was conducted on Friday, February 17, after the agencies received reports of illegal importation and hoarding of agricultural products.
“The operation was carried out in response to numerous reports of illegal importation and hoarding of agri-products, particularly locally produced onions, and garlic,” PNP-CIDG director Brig. Gen. Romeo Caramat, Jr. said in a statement Saturday.
According to Caramat, 40 to 50 tons of imported onion and garlic worth P135 million were seized from 20 warehouses in Manila while 250 tons were confiscated from a warehouse in Malabon.
“The confiscated goods have been sealed and padlocked, while investigations are ongoing to determine the individuals involved in the alleged illegal activities and file appropriate criminal charges,” he said.
PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said the successful operation is “a major breakthrough” in the government’s fight against smuggling and illegal activities in the agricultural sector.
“The rampant illegal importation and hoarding of agri-products, particularly onions and garlics, is a serious concern that affects not only the livelihood of our farmers but also the food security of our country,” Azurin said in the same statement.
“We will continue to work closely with our partner agencies to put an end to these unlawful practices and to bring those responsible to justice,” he added.
The PNP-CIDG urged the public to reportto authorities the illegal importation, storage, and distribution of agricultural products in order to help “maintain a fair and lawful market for these essential goods.”